Psychopomp

Seeing Death- or, the Psychic Ability to See or Sense Death

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When I was a kid I was obsessed with fairy tales and mythology. My public library was a wonderful resource of Greek mythology in particular, and I spent countless hours reading and identifying with the themes contained within.

In a lesser known fairy tale (I believe it is German), Death becomes Godfather to a small boy. His father had many children and wanted his child to have Death as a Godfather because he was fair… and could help his son to become a famous physician. As is the case in most fairy tales, the child grows up and eventually deceives Death several times, resulting in him being taken to the Underworld and being shown the candles of each person alive. How much was left on that candle was how long the person had left to live, and Death ends up snuffing out the candle of his godchild to teach him a lesson.

For years after reading that fairy tale I looked at people and could see or sense that candle. How much light that person had, what sort of spark they had… When I got older, I could actually see the fire, the flame.

Although I realize this sounds a bit odd, what I was realizing at that early age was basically how much energy or life force the person had within them. The difficulty with this is that there was no way to sort of test my understandings or what I was seeing. It is also true that with modern medicine that someone can have their life prolonged far beyond their “candle” being near its end. When I worked in hospice I saw this quite often. There also was that inevitable “spark” near the end when the candle is nearing the end of the wick.

I also saw when I worked with depressed patients that it would appear that their candle was near its end, although it was not– it was more like there were clouds and smoke and candle wax covering the flame so that it couldn’t burn quite right.

When I started doing psychopomp and Spirit Release work more heavily, I found that I was having trouble adjusting to the work. Not because of the nature of the work, really… but because when I completely immersed myself in the dead and the spirit realms that I had trouble adjusting to the living. I have a tendency to become really immersed in what I am doing and what I am learning for a period of time, which for working with spirits can be quite unhealthy. It took me quite a while to find balance with the work, and to learn how to have both a “regular” life as well as a “spiritual” life (yes, they are the same, but I need to go out to movies and go to the grocery store and if you are immersed in death-type energies that can be difficult).

But one of the oddest things about this time period is that I began to see death masks in people. This only happened to me in flashes, and I know that some people have this ability consistently (and mine flickers) but I began to occasionally see the death masks in people, as well as the possibility of them passing. This would be like a quick flash when I would look at the face of someone. The “death mask” is essentially what a person will look like when they pass– how their face would look, basically, in a state of death.

I do realize that this sounds morbid to probably quite a few of you reading, but it just puzzled me when it happened. A Spiritual Teacher I was working with told me about death masks, which helped with the confusion, but it did not answer the “how” or “why” it happened. Especially because this was not (and is not) a dominant ability of mine. This ability has since waned since I no longer work in hospice and have a bit more balance in my life (I am thankful for this, actually), but I have now worked with a few people who see this on a more consistent basis than I do or have.

Even more commonly people can see or sense death.

This can be the archetypal “Death” figure, Grim Reapers, and other beings/spirits/animals (such as vultures and crows) associated with Death. Because we live culturally in such a fear of death having a spirit guide that has to do with death tends to be rejected by people (even though we are in dire need of people who can work in realms such as this) and it is extraordinarily rare with such a focus on “lightwork” that people want to consider anything such as working spiritually with death.

On the other hand, there are people that tend to be a bit obsessed spiritually with death. Not because it really calls them but because it is “edgy” or different. There will always be people who want to shock– we actually need them in our culture.

There are also “lightworkers” who talk about death and death practices but make up all sorts of puritanical and odd rules about it which is not really that helpful to anyone. The subject of death, or our own personal death, still creates a lot of fear of the unknown in people, so a fair amount of the new-age movement is either focused on creating a lot of illusion about death and how wonderful it is because the person writing about it knows everything about what will happen when we die (my cardinal one rule for spotting a fake teacher is basically them saying they know everything about a specific spiritual subject… no matter how much we have explored we only know so much, and will realize that if we truly are exploring spiritual realms rather than trying to make ourselves feel better)… or they will come up with practices that make us “immortal”. Sometimes the same teacher does both, which I always find interesting. They state that we are not supposed to fear death, and move into it consciously, and then in the next breath will talk about how we can become immortal.

But anyway, there are others out there that can see and sense death. Either as a sort of sudden realization when looking at random people, in dreams, or seeing images like a filmstrip of the passing of others… either specific individuals or dreams or realizations about natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and so forth.

This can naturally be quite disconcerting for people, because it tends to happen randomly. This ability seemingly is not something that can be “trained” like most abilities, and there can be a few reasons why people have it.

  • Like myself, they can be naturally highly sensitive and be immersed in spiritual practices that allow this ability to arise
  • It can be a natural result of being sensitive/psychic and having death as a trigger– basically someone in your family has died, or you have come into contact with death fairly regularly and begin to see this. I talked about this with a hospice nurse once who was not terribly psychic but she sometimes saw death masks in people
  • It can be a call towards “dark” work– meaning doing psychopomp work, healing work- such as hospice or working with death in some way, work with nature, work with spirits
  • It can be a one-time occurrence associated with being in a sort of liminal space when a relative/family member passes or is going to pass
  • It can also be a one-time occurrence if you are in a sort of weird state where you are processing a lot of shadow-type work

So for this ability generally I am not talking about one-time occurrences. Sometimes I get emails from people stating that they knew that their (insert family member/friend/pet here) was going to die and when once, and they are wondering what it means. If you study the energetics of death and dying anyone who is sensitive will sense about two weeks before someone is going to pass that their time may be close. Other people who are more sensitive might even have an understanding of when and where. This is true especially for someone that is close to you, and is often a random one (or possibly two) time occurrence for people.

What I am talking about here really is an aspect of clairvoyance that is specifically focused on seeing death… with an aspect of precognition thrown in (which tends to be a clairvoyant faculty).

It is the looking at people in a supermarket and being able to sense that they will be in a motorcycle accident soon. It is the seeing of the “death mask” of people randomly on the subway. It is looking at that candle in someone and realizing that it is a bright flame or that it is near the end of its cycle.

It is an ability that tends to come and go and can be troubling and difficult for the experiencer. It can be a sense of knowing (claircognition) but is, when it comes through strongly, a faculty of precognitive clairvoyant faculties.

There can be training and skills that can be developed for those of you that experience it, in some regards. Even though it can be quite random there is at least understanding to be had.

But more than that there is peace that can be experienced through this ability. Death is really one of the (if not the) greatest fears that we have individually and culturally. It holds us back in a lot of ways. People who experience this can transcend this fear of death. Most people who have this ability tend to freak out (and rightfully so, even if it just has happened once) and close down this capacity, but it really can be understood and is an opportunity for the individual to release one of the biggest fears that most of us have.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are interested in working with psychic abilities, I suggest my book, Managing Psychic Abilities. I do not answer emails unless they are about my books or programs.

The Dangers of Soul Retrieval Part One

Eloise (fake name, of course) contacted me because she felt something was really wrong spiritually. She had received a “soul retrieval” from a “shaman” six weeks prior, and since then her life had gone rapidly downhill.

She was initially interested in soul retrieval because of a bad breakup four years prior. She had the classic symptoms of someone who had never gotten over that point– still thinking about the relationship after many years, inability to get into a new relationship, and a feeling of a part of herself still being her younger (well four years younger, which matters a lot in your twenties) self.

After she received her “soul retrieval” she felt like something was wrong but reasoned that since it was a spiritual appointment that it wasn’t unusual to feel a bit off. However, over the next few days she realized that something was terribly wrong. Eloise had never been depressed or prone to any type of mental imbalance but she began to feel extremely suicidal. So much so that as a logical person she reached out to friends and family and told them that she was worried about the sudden feelings of wanting to harm herself.

She contacted her “shaman” and the “shaman” (yes, I am using a lot of quotes for a reason) told her that it must be a part of her “shadow” coming out and that it was something that needed to simply integrate, and told her to walk on grass and go out into nature to integrate her “shadow”.

A friend came over and they decided that she should get a psychiatric evaluation to ensure that she was safe. She was admitted to the hospital, spending two days in the psychiatric unit. She was put on medication, given talk therapy, and participated in groups with people that were significantly mentally ill.

After she got out she realized that she was not like the other people that she met in the hospital, and was given my name and email address to contact. I quickly realized that she had an energy attached to her that was not her– it was that of a suicidal young woman. We cleared the former human, but Eloise was left with the traumatic experiences she had endured due to the experience of being admitted to a psychiatric hospital (as well as that fact permanently being on her health records) and was extremely and understandably shaken by the whole ordeal.She also had to deal with the fact that she was now on a psychiatric medication that was somewhat difficult for her to get off of.

Brandy (yes, name changed again) contacted me because she had enough spiritual experience to realize that something was attached to her after a soul retrieval appointment. From just one “soul retrieval” from a “shamanic practitioner” she began experiencing really odd experiences around her home, and feeling physical sensations that she knew were not coming from her in origin.

She contacted me and in tracking the energy it was understood that a trickster energy had noticed that this “shamanic practitioner” did not really know what they were doing but was stirring up a bunch of spiritual energy performing “soul retrievals” and the like, and wanted to influence and entertain themselves through being a part of sessions. The practitioner of course had no idea that this was happening. When Brandy came in for the appointment the trickster quickly realized that it was getting bored and noted that Brandy actually had spiritual abilities and attached to her by appearing as a “soul piece” to the practitioner. It took us three appointments to get her rid of this energy over the course of three weeks. Meantime she had difficulty sleeping and strange physical and mental symptoms.

Michael went in for a soul retrieval because of significant childhood trauma. He was molested as a small child, and felt like his life went off track since that point. He had difficulty having intimate relationships and kept those around him at bay. He had a soul retrieval prior with a spiritual worker that helped him release trauma from a situation he had had as a teenager, and he was excited to continue the work. He had moved since the first soul retrieval, which was a few years prior, and so he looked up someone in his town who performed the service.

When he went in the new “shaman” said they brought back five pieces, all of difficult childhood traumas. Michael was excited to hear this, but when he went home he began to feel a well of rage come up in him. He began punching the walls in his apartment, fracturing a finger. He had the urge to flee or burn down his apartment, but at the same time he felt intense grief pour out of him to the extent that he could not move.

He spent the next three weeks in bed in a state of despair. He had memories of his childhood come up that he had not remembered, and could not cope with. He began drinking heavily and watching hours upon hours of television. Over the next three months he lost his job and his days were mainly him with a bottle and his television.

Six months later he began to have flashes of realization that what had happened was a direct result of the soul retrieval that he had from the “shaman”. Although he was still drinking and unemployed, he found me online and we set up a series of appointments to work through the issues that had been created by the “shaman” doing the retrieval.

He is now in AA and is learning meditation to gather the tools he needs to work through some of the trauma he has experienced.

In this case, the “shaman” was technically someone who was spiritually capable (a distinct difference from the first two examples). But because the spiritual worker had little experience with trauma, they were unable to help Michael because they brought back issues that he was not ready to deal with, which obviously had disastrous effects.

In Part One, we have gone over case studies of some of the people I have worked with who have suffered as a result of “shamans” performing “soul retrieval”.

In Part Two I will discuss how frequently and unfortunately I get contacted by people like this, how/why this happens, and how to tell if you have had a soul retrieval that needs to be corrected… or worked with by a more competent practitioner.

I will also discuss my thoughts on why core “shamanism” is presented as safe in terms of soul retrieval, why too many people are playing in realms that they do not understand and feel confident in doing so, why many “shamanic practitioners” grasp onto the idea that there is nothing outside the self (and everything else is lumped in with the “shadow”… which doesn’t mean what they think it does), and the harm that is created by many practitioners working with deep traumas and emotions without any sort of trauma or body-based training. I also will talk a bit about one of my specialties, which is corrective work– or essentially healing the effects of the work of other “shamans” and spiritual practitioners.

Spiritual Advice: Psychic Ability to Predict Death

Mary-

I found your site because I wanted to know more about how I can sense death in people. Sometimes I look at people in the market and I see some of them that are going to die. Sometimes I will even sense how it will happen like a guy I saw I knew he was going to get in a car crash.

Another time I saw a woman who was pregnant and I knew that she was going to miscarry the child. It is awful to realize these things. Most of the time they are about people that I don’t know and just see around town, but sometimes I realize that a friend is going to get sick, or one time I realized my cousin was going to die. I would think it was just my imagination, but my cousin did actually die and the feelings I get when I realize these things are really intense. For example I will get a headache or feel dread or even a few times would see how the person would die. But most of the time I just feel kind of sick and it is like a big realization that I just can’t shake.

Can you tell me what this all means? What do I do about this? I can’t imagine I go up to people and tell them that they are going to die. That would just be weird. How do I not get upset about this too? I don’t think I want to block things, but they do make me not feel well. If you could reply it would be really, really helpful.

– Seer of Death

Hi Seer-

So what this ability is called is precognition. It is typically under the umbrella of claircognition. Claircognition means “clear knowing”. It is our gut instinct, that sort of intuition that mothers get when their children are in trouble. It is our sense of knowing something without knowing why. Claircognition is actually the most common psychic ability, but is often dismissed because we live in a culture that dismisses that quiet voice inside, that sense of knowing that emerges. Most of us are quite dismissive of any sort of information that pops up without us having a context for it, a narrative, a story, or some sort of linear logic from our brains/ego telling us that the information is valid and okay.

This sense of knowing, this claircognition, can be a small sense of knowing that we should turn right instead of left down a street, only to find out that there was a traffic accident that would have made us late to our appointment if we had turned left. It can also be a huge sense of knowing, accompanied by dread and chills and becoming physically ill with realizing that there are going to be layoffs at our company, that something bad is going to happen to us (and we don’t know what, but we just have this realization), or that a pet, family member, or complete stranger is going to die.

Just so this doesn’t seem all gloomy (before I go on to the death part), claircognition is an incredibly useful ability to have. We can know if our children are okay, how that test is going to go, what job we should take, if that boy/girl/man/woman is right for us, and get a general sense of environment. For example, if we listen to our claircognition we may pick up that the bar we are at, the subway car we are in, or the street we are walking down is not safe. We may not know why, but this sense of knowing causes us to walk down another street, to leave the bar, or to move on the subway. Most of us do this behavior unconsciously– our claircognitive skills are not conscious so we want to leave the bar, or the train, or walk quicker down the street (or change streets) without knowing why. 

But some of us become conscious of our claircognition and utilize it to our advantage. We begin to listen to our gut instinct, to acknowledge it, and to even express gratitude for it giving us information. Again, most of us do not listen to what our instincts are telling us… we have become disconnected from them because we are either looking for something crassly linear and double-blind study logical (typically meaning told to us by others or given to us by others) or we are looking for huge explosions of psychic abilities, such as the media portrays clairvoyance (clear seeing). By acknowledging this ability and listening to it we can become better people more in line with who we truly are.

It is important to understand that society at large is not in a sensing or feeling state, so others (even those interested in spiritual matters) are likely to disregard your experiences that come from this feeling or sensing state. This comes from an ego state of always wanting that hugely splashy thing or “valid” linear scientific double-blind study type proof. If we listen to others who are not capable or comfortable with being in a state of sensing or feeling, we often disregard our own experiences and understandings. It is important not to do so in an attempt to seek outer acceptance of abilities such as this.

To acknowledge and grow your claircognition is simple: you acknowledge what is coming up (I should move subway cars), sit with it for a moment to feel if it is valid or not (by asking your gut, not your head)… when you hear a “yes” you act on that action by moving subway cars (for example). Then say “thank you” to that information, to your gut instinct for telling you this information. If it is a huge move, such as getting a divorce or moving to another country, you can still acknowledge what is coming up but sit with it for a while longer before making a move or drastic life change. Even acknowledging that this information is coming up and saying a simple “thank you” to it without changing anything in your physical reality will allow for you to gradually understand how powerful this ability actually is.

Now, on to precognition. Precognition, as I mentioned, is somewhat of a child of claircognition, typically. This means that you will realize that something will happen in the future without knowing why. This can be all sorts of information, from realizing you will get that job you just interviewed for to realizing you are going to move in the next six months to realizing that two weeks from now you are going to be sick. Many sensitives, for example, with this ability, schedule their work around the fact that they realize when they will be at full power, or have the ability to work a lot, and when they need a break or even bed rest.

A type of precognition is the ability to see or sense death. This can be sort of a vague sense of knowing to full clairvoyant (seeing) abilities of seeing a stranger in the grocery store die in a fiery crash in the near future. This can be difficult information to process, and the sensitive who sees it may experience headaches, nausea, stomach issues, or emotional imbalances from seeing so much death around them. It also can understandably be a bit of a perpetual existential crisis to have this ability, to want to get rid of it, to not know what to do about it, or to have this ability call up our own fears around death. It is also a huge difficulty for some people who are especially sensitive with this ability to have to process the energy and the death of the person through their physical body.

I should note that it is most common to see death at or around two weeks before the physical death. Our spiritual bodies are preparing (or trying to prepare) for what is going to occur in the near future, and in most cases (not all, some sudden deaths are not like this) sensitives are sensing the fact that the energy bodies are lifting off of the body towards the top of the head (typically) near death, or that there is a grey or dark cast/hue around the person who is going to die suddenly.

So the question is always what to do about this ability. It is an understandable question, and I have personally grappled with seeing a lot of things that I cannot or should not do anything about. In our modern culture (media portrayals such as Ghost Whisperer and Long Island Medium) we see “mediums” (yes, I put that in quotes for a reason) walking up to random strangers and telling them that their dead grandmother is with them. I have personally had people walk up to me and try to read me. It deeply bothers me when this happens. First off, because it is always the person that has the least amount of sensitivities (as in, not very psychic at all or perhaps went to a psychic school and got a certificate which means they are, of course, now psychic) who tell me things that are often not correct, are from conversation they overheard, or are so basic that they are more cold reading (a sort of psychological ability to read body language, faces, or just utilizing really basic generalized info that could apply to anyone) in order to appear special.

It is ethically wrong to tell someone that they are going to die, or to tell them any sort of psychic information that you are picking up about them. The only way that it is okay is if they are paying you, or coming to you for guidance, and you deeply question if they really want to know or can hear (as in process) the information you are picking up about them. 

The other thing to know about the ability to see death is that it is not 100 percent. Meaning you could be wrong, meaning that you could be reading someone else in the store instead (their death) and cross a few wires and have it be about another person by mistake, you could be having an off day or so overwhelmed by stuff going on in your own life or that there is so much death in the air (it happens) that you can sense it with everyone. That person you are picking up information about could also turn left instead of right by some miracle and not get in that car crash you sense them in. It happens.

So my point is here that you do not do anything about the information. You do not tell them. Maybe you choose not to get in a car with them (for example) but telling them is ethically wrong for a variety of reasons.

So the question here is what do you do about this ability… or “Why do I have it?” This is something of a difficult question, and depends on the individual. You may have it simply because you do… you are sensitive and you pick up on more information than people around you. Death is actually fairly easy to pick up on as long as you don’t have blinders on (many people refuse to process any information about death or “darkness” because it is not “light” and they have a deep fear about their own inevitable death). Death is part of our world, and picking up when someone has two weeks left (or so, not an exact science) or the sort of cast or shadow that happens when someone is likely to die suddenly is not super far left-field… meaning that it is fairly easy to see.

Some of us have had experiences with death that make us more prone to see it in the people around us. We are comfortable with death, or we have had some sort of trauma involving death that allows for us (as people who are already likely sensitive) to be more in tune with that energy. Some of us have had near death experiences that have allowed for us to see death in those around us.

Some of us are intended to be spiritual workers and actually do something with this information. Some spiritual workers can see the “death mask” on everyone. Our “death mask” is what we will look like in death, and often contains information about how long we have left, what we will die of/from, and so forth. Other spiritual workers can see the inner light of a person (like a candle) and see how brightly it shines. If it shines more brightly, that means the person has more life left in them. The spiritual workers who can see this are often (not always) good at psychopomp– which is helping people spiritually cross over out of their physical body (move out of their physical body after death) as well as from their spirit form into the proverbial light.

Some of us are intended to be nurses, hospice workers, or others who work with death and the dying process.

Some of us are intended to utilize our relationship with death to create fantastic pieces of art and beauty in this world.

But most of us are not intended to do anything with this information simply because we see it. You are just more sensitive, for whatever reason, and your sensitivities are allowing you to notice death.

What is needed though is to let go of the intense emotions, fear, and physical issues (as well as existential crises) that come with this ability. You do this by reconciling your personal fears around death, any trauma you may have experienced with death, and most importantly you go into a state of noticing rather than reaction to receiving any sort of psychic input. By going to a state of noticing, rather than taking the energy on (which makes you physically and emotionally ill) or processing it (this does not! need to happen), you can become much healthier, more sane, and react neutrally to seeing these sorts of things.

False Spirit Guides, Angels, and Tricksters.

As many of you may know from reading my other posts, what I generally see from many people is that they are self-creating most of their spiritual experiences, angels, gods, spirits, spirit guides, and so forth. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because these aspects are disassociated aspects of Self- meaning that they are aspects of ourselves that have split off due to trauma or because we are not yet able to or cannot fully identify with them. When we fully know who we are, when we are fully integrated and embodied there is no longer a “true self” or “inner physician” or an aspect of ourselves that is a traumatized six year old because those traumas have been resolved and we are just simply who we are– one integrated, awakened human being.

So the parts we self-create, or are aspects of ourselves are important. They allow for us to understand our deepest desires, to let us know what we are really thinking, to have access to parts of our subconscious. But there are things outside of ourselves. There are all sorts of energies and beings and spirits that we can contact, that we can connect with, that are not us, or a disassociated aspect of ourselves.

It seems that this is something that nobody talks about, but people take for granted that what they are contacting (when they contact something outside of themselves) is a spirit guide, an angel, a deity, an ancestor, or a helpful spirit. Sensitives automatically assume that when they are channeling something that it is what they say it is, which is often a being of light, or great wonder, or something of great intellect. While there are all sorts of beautiful, blissful, and interesting energies, spirits, and beings out there, most people are not contacting them. What they are contacting is a run-of-the mill former human, an aspect of a former human, an attached energy, or a trickster.

This is obviously a difficult sale (so to speak) because most people really want to believe that they are contacting Archangel Michael, or a deity, or some other great power. It is a difficult illusion to look past. When we self-create AA Michael, or he is an aspect of our higher self, he tells us what we want to hear. What our deepest desires are. Again, this can be wonderful to hear because outwardly we may feel confused or directionless or stuck in our lives and AA Michael as a subconscious aspect of ourselves may tell us exactly what we are really thinking. When we are contacting something outside of ourselves we will hear advice, thoughts, and understandings that are not our own. When we are working with a true, non-physical teacher this will often be things that we need to hear, rather than want to hear. We may be challenged, we may have difficulties, we may be put through initiations so we can go up a level on the proverbial spiritual elevator, or go down a bit in the proverbial rabbit hole of spiritual understanding.

But when we are really and truly speaking or working with an enlightened being, an angel, a presence of the divine it has a much different energy than us (no matter how enlightened we are or think we are). It has a much bigger power source than us. It is a much bigger, denser, and more intense vibration than us. This means that you will feel this presence when it enters a room, when it speaks to you, when it makes contact with you. There will be a palpable change. We cannot help but feel changed or be changed by this presence, especially if we channel or in some way take it into our body. We may feel shaking, have headaches, or be so expanded that we cannot move. The energy field of AA Michael and our own is so incongruent that it may take months, if not years, to work with him so we are not “blasted out” after an encounter. It is typical when actually working with large and powerful energies such as this to be fatigued, in a state of expansion, or have a release of a huge amount of emotions, traumas, and other blocking material after the encounter.

When working with “lower” energies such as elementals and elevated ancestors (a little lower on the huge energy scale) there still will be a palpable shift, a sense of presence different than our own, and even a change in our physical environment (for example in the work that I do I set out water or perfumed water and the presence of ancestors would create bubbles in the water). These energies are important to work with and cultivate, but although their energy fields may not be so hugely different than our own, they have different ideas, thoughts, understandings, ethics, and belief systems than our own. They do not fit tightly into our cosmology of the universe and our concepts of right and wrong.

But many of the energies we are actually interacting with, if they are outside of ourselves, are not actual spirit guides, angels, or elevated presences. They are likely not even elementals or “lower” presences. They are most likely former humans or tricksters who have taken on the guise of a spirit guide to get their needs met.

Most former humans (basically meaning spirits or part of the spirit) are typically pretty weak. They are typically quite congruent with our own energy fields. If spirits do not move on they can attach to our energy field for strength and for energy. Some of these former humans will begin to present as spirit guides, angels, and so forth so that they can remain attached. They will espouse various memes and sayings that will help you feel good about yourself, give advice/guidance, and help you with clients and friends. You will not feel energized, or move up the spiritual elevator (or down the rabbit hole) or really have any deep understandings, and most importantly you will feel drained and ill from the encounter. You will also likely, if you are able and willing to reflect, be able to point out a specific part of your body, or your energy field, where this “spirit guide” is.

It is hard to convince people that what they have is an attached former human and not a deity that is informing their decisions. In my work I never get rid of anything– I let people make choices about their spiritual path, what they want to work on, and even if they want to get rid of harmful energies that are not theirs. Most of the time people decide to keep their “spirit guide” and then will come back later, after much reflection, to release it. It is understandably hard to admit, hard to process, that you are carrying something that you thought was AA Michael and really it was simply a former human.

You may ask what is the harm of keeping a former human if it is giving decent advice? The real harm is in having anything in your body or in your field that is not you. Anything that is not you that is in your body/field is draining you of energy. It is taking your vitality. It also may be giving shitty advice that you really shouldn’t take. Just because someone no longer has a physical body doesn’t mean it is all-knowing. Many spirits have an increased capacity to see their lives from a clearer and more expanded worldview, but if they are earthbound they are likely the same intelligence they were here, have the same spiritual wisdom, etc.

In some cases there may be a trickster or other non-human simply messing with you or that has a specific purpose (such as if you actually have abilities and it is interested in you and/or your abilities but you are unskilled and do not know how to use them). There are all sorts of beings and energies that will present differently than they actually are or will not present who they actually are as a sort of test, or simply because they want something from you. A trickster is the most notorious of them for presenting differently than they actually are, and for interfering with humans who don’t know what they are doing in their spiritual practices. The trickster will present as a deity or spirit guide for its own amusement, to gain energy or ask for offerings, of for other purposes that are too complex to talk about here. Again, since a trickster is a lower energy, there will often be a sense of deadening of energy and fatigue and there may even be feelings of confusion or a gut instinct on your part that things are not what they seem (if you are actually willing to look at what you are dealing with rather than being simply content that you have finally found something that is a separate energy from you). Tricksters are notorious for going into well-meaning spiritual practitioners offices and screwing with the sessions, and many spiritual practitioners are unfortunately unable to clearly see that they are dealing with one.

Although this can be a lengthy and controversial topic, please know that what appears to you in meditation, in your spiritual practice, and through the course of your life as a “spirit guide”, angelic or other heightened presence has specific signs, or guideposts, that mark their presence. It is important to question what you are dealing with (even if you like the presence or are excited you are dealing with a spiritual presence for perhaps the first time). It is important to be just you in your body. Even if you are a channel it is important that energies leave after… and that you have complete and total sovereignty in your own body and are capable of making decisions of what you let in or not. If you are having difficulty with any of these issues, contact me, and I can help you through an individualized session: spiritual healing, instruction, or spirit release.

Psychic Abilities and “Darkwork”: Death, Disease, and Darkness

One of the most common reasons why people who have actual psychic abilities and sensitivities find me is because they are able to sense, see, feel, hear, or use whatever their dominant psychic ability is to see death, disease, and/or destruction of some sort. This understandably freaks people out, especially when they are unskilled (meaning they have abilities but have not found an appropriate teacher and/or do not know how to set boundaries with their abilities or know how to use them properly and safely).

The other reason this concerns people is that we live in a spiritual “community” of lightworkers– meaning that most of the courses, books, and information out there… as well as what people are willing to talk about in most spiritual communities (even in many hardcore occult communities surprisingly these days)… is only fashioned on the light, or light work. Information on how to work with abilities surrounding “darkness” are met with disdain by others, or people who are “lightworkers” give really bad advice about transmuting darkness to light of some sort or will lecture you about how your abilities are evil, amoral, or not what you should be focusing on. This surprisingly happens with even discussions on what is considered “dark” work, such as working with the Earth, death, spirits, ghosts, curses, disease, working with primal emotions, sexual spirituality, herbs/rootwork and basically any sort of work that does not adhere to a rigid puritanical neo-spiritual cosmology.

And while I say the above and it seems like I have disdain for lightworkers, it simply is not true. I personally have capabilities and am rather dark in my nature (as well as am very light in my nature- when you are willing to work with and see your darkness in a balanced manner your light grows, and vice versa), and it took me a long time to find some of the information I am going to write here. It took me even longer to realize that there really is no “color” to anything- at a certain level everything is light, Brahman, Tao, Godhead (whatever you wish to call it). But I digress…

Seeing darkness, death, and disease can be extraordinarily helpful. I have trained to the extent that I can look at someone in my clinic and see what areas need work, what organs possibly carry disease, and what emotions are being held. I can see if issues/imbalances are being held in the emotional, physical, or spiritual levels of the body… and if they are from this life, past lives, ancestral sources, etc. I had a natural, innate ability to do this but before I became skilled I would just hazy smoke around people or shapes inside of people, a lack of flow in or around the body, or just had a sense of knowing without anything to back it up. Before I became skilled I could sense that someone was carrying something that was not theirs, but now I can see what it is and communicate with it (with boundaries). In clinic, in my spiritual practice, these skills can be very helpful.

But in my regular life they are not. You do not want to know what diseases your friends have, what sort of odd activities your teacher is up to (BDSM with an Asian fetish in one case), that the person in the grocery store line just lost their child and is in immense grief, or that a family member has something rather nasty attached to them that isn’t theirs. When you are unskilled, this information is overwhelming and the amount of stimuli that comes at you with abilities like these can be emotionally, spiritually, and physically harmful in a way that is difficult to describe. When you see disease and darkness everywhere you turn it is obviously extraordinarily difficult.

This scenario gets even more complicated when the matter of Death comes through. There are many psychics and sensitives that are able (through one or more psychic abilities) to see Death, or the psychopomp beings (basically Grim Reapers if we are being simple here), to see death in people, to know when and how they are going to die. This is typically a strong psychic ability… This gets a bit complicated because there is not one term for it beyond “Deathworker” “Darkworker” or “Darklighter”… which conjures up all sorts of images of evil and whatever society thinks of anything or anyone that is not a “lightworker”.

What I am saying, simply, is that a Darkworker is typically a highly psychic individual… and that can be through Clairvoyance (seeing), Clairaudience (hearing), Dreaming states, Precognitive states, Channeling, Mediumship, and/or someone with Psychopomp capabilities (for a little bit about Mediumship and Psychopomp abilities click here)… who can see and work with death, disease, destruction, primal emotions, and the Earth. We are needed, and in vastly short supply because many of us are not skilled, are overwhelmed, or feel this ability is “evil” because it is not “light”. 

The truth is that this is light, it is just not the light that is popularized and considered okay by neo-spiritual groups. Some of you with this ability may see that someone is going to die by the certain amount of light around them or how their energy field looks, some of you may sense the psychopomp beings around the person, some may have dreams or precognitive abilities where you know before someone is going to die (or right when they are going to die), some may hear that a specific person is going to, or some of you may have guides that tell you. There are specific ways that the ability to see Death comes through, even in the most unskilled of individuals, depending on your dominant sense. In most people, until they are skilled (and even then) it is through claircognizance – or simply knowing information about death, disease, and destruction (like of bombings, wars, terrorist attacks, etc) without knowing how or why you are getting the information. 

While Claircognizance is a wonderful and can be quite a strong psychic capability, when you are in an unskilled state with it the amount of information coming at you and the type of information coming at you, such as knowing time of death or who is going to pass when you are in a grocery store (or maybe even how) can be quite disconcerting.

So what to do about this ability?

  • The first thing to do is accept that on some level that you have it. This may be a long road, especially in a culture that is so obsessed with the “light”.
  • Figure out how you are getting your information- basically through what senses. Are you hearing, seeing, sensing, physically feeling in your body, or just knowing the information? Are you having dreams about it? Are you seeing information from the past, present, or future? You may not be able to answer all these questions, just do the best you can.
  • Get a sort of catalogue, or sense of what type of information you are getting. Is it time of death? A disease? Attachments or beings? Matter of death? Information about world events/destruction of some sort?
  • How does this information affect you when you receive it? Do you get a headache, do you react emotionally? Do you disassociate (leave your body)? Do you take on the disease, energy of death, or darkness into your own body?
  • This information may take you a while to gather, but most importantly know that you need to move from being unskilled to skilled with this ability. This is unfortunately not an ability that you can learn fully about from books (or even through this post). Because it is fairly individualized, you need a teacher or training of some sort to work with it. This teacher will tell you how you are receiving your information, what psychic abilities you have, what the effects are on you (the questions above, basically), and most importantly how to work with it.
  • There is typically a reason for you having this ability. For some it may be to become a medical intuitive, for others a hands-on healer, for some a spiritual healer who works with darkness, hospice work such as nursing or volunteering, or psychopomp work (moving souls on). It may be that it is part of your own healing and spiritual path, and you are intended to work spiritually with darkness, the dark void, the psychopomp beings, even Death itself.

Learning how and why as well as how to maintain boundaries and safety is essential if you have natural capabilities with this work. When you are naturally psychic you will have all sorts of events, happenings, and energies around you that may be very good, or may put your physical health and energetic/spiritual safety in jeopardy. That is not intended to frighten, it just is what it is. If you are reading this and already have these capabilities, it is likely that this is already occurring- and that you have disrupted sleep, fatigue and pains in your body, digestive issues, headaches, emotional lability, and sometimes freak out a bit in the grocery store (sometimes without knowing why). This doesn’t need to happen. With skills you can learn how to work with the information so it doesn’t have an impact. You can be initiated into specific understandings with specific energies, learn spiritual protection, and even (to a certain extent, admittedly) turn off (and to a much greater extent) simply notice the information being given to you without processing it or letting it flow through you without registering and having to deal with it.

 

Thoughts on Clearing Spirits and Energies

One of the more common beginner responses to noticing a spirit, being, or other energy in your space is to fear it and want to clear it. Many of us are asleep to the extent that we do not notice that the spiritual is all around us. It is not separate from us. We are constantly surrounded by spirits, beings and other energies.

When we notice anything not physical, as in something outside of the realm of being commonly noticed, the first response is typically to go into controlling and assault mode. We sage and clear and clean until we feel safe again. Or, basically, until we no longer notice it. This allows for us to feel in control of our surroundings, this allows us to feel safe. It allows for us to perpetuate the myth that the spiritual is somehow “out there” and we need to do shamanic journeys or meditate or work to access it… and that when it accesses us it is something to clear and fear.

The truth of the matter is that we are constantly surrounded by energies, by spirits, by emotions and grids and thoughtforms… by the history of the place we are in, by the elements that surround us. Due to a lack of spiritual understanding of death rites there are many spirits around us all. Most of us simply are not sensitive enough to notice anything that is not concrete, and beyond that our egos and belief systems get in the way so we further fall into a state of illusion and not-seeing. Most people, in fact, when they clear don’t do it appropriately and simply fall into a state of illusion that the spirit is gone, or that they have cleared their home.

Instead of reacting to anything not physical, or possibly spirit-oriented as being something to “fear and clear”, learning about what surrounds you and the understanding level to know what to do, if anything, about the situation, is the best thing to do in situations like this. There are plenty of spirits that wish no harm. They just are there. We happen to simply occupy space with them. There are also imprints of the past we think are conscious spirits. There are also ancestors, guides, and all sorts of spirits and beings that are helpful and can be teachers to us. And yes, there are harmful spirits, but they are fairly rare.

Simply because you notice a spirit in your space does not mean you need to clear it. Plenty of people do not mind occupying the same space as a spirit as long as there are ground rules. People can reach the understanding level to know if a spirit is something that is helpful, not helpful, or simply happens to be there. People can learn the tools to know how to respectfully work with the unseen, the spirit world, with openness, respect, and know-how. Simply because we see something outside of ourselves that we cannot control we do not need to go into “fear and clear” mode. By learning how to successfully work with spirits we can move beyond that, and open ourselves to seeing more of what is actually around us. We can move beyond the state of willful ignorance, fear, and wish to control everything around us. Even the most advanced sensitive can never truly know everything around them, but when you approach the spiritual world as simply flowing through the physical world, as part of it, instead of something to fear or going into a state of spiritual bypass where you think spiritual things are somehow separate or different than our physical world, you can open up to knowing more about the spiritual world and how to work with it properly.

Mary assists sensitives, psychics, and people undergoing spiritual awakenings to learn how to work with their abilities and experiences. You can contact her here with questions about readings, programs, and individual appointments.